Hawaii Guide


Lanai City The Village

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Lanai City is a simple modest little Hawaiian city with a population of only about 2,500 people (the residential area is only six block by twelve blocks) where buildings seldom extend above one story in height. Historically this was the first real planned settlement and was developed in the early 1920s by Jim Dole to accommodate all the plantation labourers and their ever growing families. Even today Lanai City still contains scenes out this era brightly painted houses, children playing by the sides of the roads, people contently lazing in the island sunshine watching a friendly game of soccer and shops that often only hold the necessities. Read more on this Hawaiian Island's history.

The city currently sits at 1600 feet, making it cooler than the coastal areas the mists at this altitude combined with the Norfolk pines that envelop the city create the perfect forest paradise. It is quite interesting that compared to all the other islands, Lanai is the only one where the majority of development has occurred inland, all the others have established coastal cities. Visitors to the island will find all the major shopping and eating out places are grouped round one area Dole Park. Dole Park is the four blocks of downtown Lanai City in essence it forms what would be seen as the town green or square. It is not uncommon to find locals sitting outside one of the cafes in the sun watching the passer bys, or children and adults alike playing games in the streets.

The City offers shoppers a relaxed, warm and inviting atmosphere around the quaint area of Dole Park. Visitors can shop and then casually sit down and sample some of the delectable local cuisine that is served by a number of cafes. For the culturally minded there is a lot on offer in this little town original local artwork can be found on display at the Lanai Gallery and there are also classes offered at the Lanai Art and Cultural Center or maybe you might want to attend the Visiting Arts program which also offer a number of courses as well as offering the opportunity to listen to guest speakers who come from a number of backgrounds including culinary, art and music. The city also hosts the only movie theatre and post office on the island.

For those who have an eye for fashion prepare to be disappointed by the number of high street shops available, the only possible recommendation is to pop into The Local Gentry and kit yourself out in the best island wear! With all the walking and shopping you must now be ready to retreat to the shade, and maybe grab a bite to eat and drink. If you want local cuisine we strongly recommend The Blue Ginger Café open throughout the day accommodating for breakfast, lunch and supper. Want to experience one of Lanai City's bistros, which also offer health food choices? Then Pele's Other Garden is the place for you. Tanigawa's is also another favourite bistro frequented by the local population. Looking for something light and maybe a quick coffee to keep you going? Then you must visit the Lanai Coffee Works and sample one of their scrumptious cappuccinos.